We’ve all known someone at some point or another who was named after their mother, father, grandparent, etc. In these situations, it is surprisingly common for the credit reporting agencies to receive a “mixture” of information on the different individuals with matching names. It doesn’t seem to matter that the social security numbers are not similar or that the two different individuals are of two drastically different ages…it’s a well known story.
If you find yourself in this type of situation, you may be so frustrated with the negative effect of the relative’s poor financial choices on your credit report that you are now considering bankruptcy. Sadly, in this situation, bankruptcy will not be a very effective solution. You would still be left to deal with the mixed credit files as long as you both have the same name. If you are able to manage your debt, you should attempt to avoid filing for bankruptcy.
Instead, you should dispute the accounts on your credit report that don’t actually belong to you (even if you’re doing it for the second or third time). In recent years, the credit reporting agencies have become a lot more user friendly for those trying to dispute inaccurate information. Someone in your particular situation will need to review their credit report regularly to address any mix-ups. A good rule of thumb would be to check your credit report every time you file taxes.
To avoid the mix-up, always attempt to provide as much information when you are applying for credit as possible. For instance, if your name is Fred Demetri Rasmussen, Jr. make sure you use your entire name when applying for credit – just as it appears on your credit report. If you frequently use a nickname, you can use it, but remember that the more AKAs or also known as listed in your credit file, the more likely it is that mix-ups will occur. Be just as thorough when listing your address, your previous addresses, your birthday and your social security number. The more detail included in the credit application the better it will be in your situation.
If you have other general bankruptcy questions, please feel free to get in touch with the southern California bankruptcy attorneys at Westgate Law. We can assist you in determining whether or not bankruptcy is the right answer for you.